In the last few years Nintendo’s biggest titles has been developed in-house. One of their most interesting series comes from the little bugs that created one of the most fascinating strategy games to hit the Gamecube. Now a few years later we get the sequel to one of the most interesting games to hit the Cube, it’s Pikmin 2 and it’s better then ever.
In the first Pikmin game you were put in the role of Captain Olimar, who had some very interesting adventures in the previous game. Now he is back to the planet Hocotate, where he learns that his employer is about to go bankrupt. Only seconds after Olimar lands the repossession robot comes to take his ship away. Well now Olimar is off to save the day and try to get his employers out of their massive debt.
The one thing that really bothered the first Pikmin was the fact that the length of the game was quite short. Although the game had some excellent ideas and was a great game, the one thing that really kept it from being great was the lack of a whole lot of depth, in which you had to complete your objectives in a thirty minute time period which ended up making the game only five hours long. Now thankfully in Pikmin 2 we are given a game that takes away these problems and also added even more depth to make one of the best strategy games to hit the Cube.
For those of you who didn’t play Pikmin, this is really just a basically a real time strategy game. The Pikmin were named in the first level of the first game, and there were three different colors - now there are a total of five colors. You will be able to find some wild Pikmins, but for the most part you will have to have Olimar and Louie to grow these guys from seeds.
One of the most noticeable changes from Pikmin to Pikmin 2 is the addition of Louie who allows you to do a lot more with the game. So now you can individually control both Louie and Olimar independently from each other; so now you can command two groups instead of one. This adds so much more strategy into the game as one the game requires you to do this later in the game, but it also gives you a whole lot more to do during even the earlier missions. By simply hitting the X button you can switch through the two captains, making the gameplay go more smoothly.
The whole purpose behind Pikmin 2 is to solve puzzles in a way that is not very common among other games on the market. The game is not even close to as easy as just going and collecting treasure. The combat system that was in-place on the first is largely the same from Pikmin. You will have to decide which units you will send to attack and to decide how to attack your opponents. The strategy behind this game only takes a little while to learn the basics but as you get farther into the game the strategy becomes inevitable.
Although the multiplayer modes in the game are quite welcome, I was a bit disappointed to find that there wasn’t a full blown cooperative mode that let you go through the entire single player. Instead we are given the challenge and versus modes, both in which do a great deal for the game. You can really see the strategy involved in Pikmin 2 come alive in these portions of the game.
When it all starts to boil down Nintendo did the right thing by sticking with the original formula. Instead of messing with what worked they did a great job of going through the game and fixing what did not. With the great addition of Louie as well as the two new colors of Pikmin, you are given a game now that is a great deal longer then the first, and one that involves a whole lot more strategy. Pikmin 2 does a great job of sticking to the formula and improving upon it in so many different ways.
When you think about the concept of trying to make the characters of Pikmin look spectacular it’s actually a funny concept. As they really aren’t all that cute, but even with that being said Nintendo still finds there way to try and make these little creatures as appealing as possible.
The one thing I am going to extol Nintendo for doing is creating a game that looks like a game in every avenue. To start with the environments are utterly amazing full of life and color. The developers took very simple outdoor settings and made them look extremely impressive. All of the environments in the game host plenty of detail, which really does wonders for the game. The character models are all very colorful and very full of detail. You can see the extra effort put in place unto Olimar and Louie.
Overall Pikmin 2 is one of the best looking games to hit the Cube, and not for doing anything out of the ordinary great, but doing a great job of making everything look good at a solid frame-rate.
Many people may say this game looks a bit childish; and on the surface I would have to agree with them. But anyone who is wiling to give this game a try will see how much work was put into this game to make such a fun strategy game. It just amazes me that they could take such a simple topic and make such an enjoyable single player game. Had they put more effort into the multiplayer we could have been looking at a perfect score.
For all of the fans of the original Pikmin, or any strategy enthusiast, you need to go our and buy this game right away. For those of you who are tentative give this game a rent and see how rewarding it can be.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.